Get your immune system fighting fit for winter!

Gut health and immunity advice from The Natural Health Hub in Lymington - fend off infections and viruses!

Good bacteria bad bacteria Converted webAs the weather gets chillier, mornings grow darker and autumn mists roll across the New Forest, it’s time to think immunity, immunity, immunity!

Owner of The Natural Health Hub, Sue Leach, offers advice on easy ways to fend off infections and viruses – focusing particularly on gut health, the root to getting your immune system fighting fit for winter. PLUS read on for details of a talk about immunity at The Hub on Saturday 19 October...

Ready, set, go for winter!

Did you know that 70% of your immune cells lie in the wall of your intestines? Or that eating sugary foods can weaken your immune system by 75% for up to six hours? And that if you have a tendency to feeling down in the dumps through winter it could be nothing to do with lack of sunshine but be all about the health of your gut?

Hands over stomach 600x400There’s a lot to be said for that adage ‘go with your gut feeling’. Scientists are increasingly finding that the health of your gut (your stomach and intestines) is, in fact, the key to your overall health. Not only is your gut in charge of digestion, absorption of nutrients and excretion of waste, it is also a top player in your immunity – and even your happiness. Your gut flora (a vast colony of 100 trillion micro-organisms known as the microbiome) may contribute to the health of your heart and brain, prevent some cancer and autoimmune diseases, and perhaps play a role in the development and progression of obesity.

The secret is to maintain a healthy population of gut flora. All too easily the balance of the bacteria in our stomach and intestines can tip so that ‘bad bacteria’ overtake the good (a sign of which is thrush or candida, although often you won’t have an inkling you’ve been overrun by the bad guys). A course of antibiotics is enough to cause this imbalance, as is stress or some ongoing medication. Scientists now realise that the diversity of bacteria, not simply their number, is the linchpin to good health.

Improve your gut health now!

Gut and mood 600x400Sure signs your gut is under par are: constipation, loose, slimy or discoloured stools, bloating, flatulence, lack of energy or nausea, or if you had antibiotics or a sickness or diarrhoea bug in the past year. Often, however, we don’t even know the bacteria in our gut aren’t as fighting fit as they might be – until we go down with a cold or flu and it takes ages to fight it off.

So here are five steps we recommend to improving the health of your microbiome

1. Cut ready meals

Eating junk food and ready meals is eating food that is void of nutrient value. You are depriving your body of everything it needs to work, particularly antioxidants which strengthen our immune response and help us fight off disease. 

2. Tanya pexels beets carrots close up 533360 600x400Eat the rainbow

A 2014 study at University College, London reported increasing immune benefits for people who ate up to seven or more portions of fruit/veg a day – with vegetables and salad proving more beneficial than fruit. Many of the beneficial compounds in plants are linked to their colour pigments, so by eating a wide variety of colours in your fruit and veg you’ll reap the most from your seven-a-day

3. Cut alcohol

As alcohol is a diuretic it makes us go to the loo more. This depletes our stores of essential vitamins and minerals and suppresses the body’s ability to multiply its white blood cells in response to a bacterial or viral invasion.

4. Reduce sweet foods

Microbiome gut flora 600x400When we metabolise sugar it has an acidic response in the body. Our blood naturally needs to be slightly alkaline. So if we eat and drink too many acid-forming foods our blood will be too acidic which will affect cellular functions, deplete our body of essential minerals, increase inflammation and encourage disease.

5. Take a probiotic

Probiotics are supplements that you can take to boost the population of healthy bacteria in your gut. The level you need for a healthy immune system is way more than the small number of probiotics in bio-yogurt and probiotic drinks – plus for an effective dosage you need to choose a probiotic tailored to your individual needs. If, for example, you are prone to cystitis or thrush you’ll need a different probiotic than if you have just taken antibiotics or are on the Pill or asthma medication. Pop in any time to The Hub for free advice on which probiotic is right for you. 

6. Give your children a kids’ probiotics

Research shows children who take our probiotics for babies and children through winter have 25% less chance of getting some infections and miss 40% less school. This probiotic is especially appropriate for kids prone to ear nose and throat (ENT) infections, sicky bugs and asthm

Get expert help

This is just one small fraction of the ways you can improve your immunity. For a full review of how well your immune system is functioning and ways that you could improve your immunity through diet, this is a good time of year to book an appointment with Rhi Hepple, our naturopathic nutritionist. She offers a hair analysis test, which gives you a ‘health MOT’ with a full report on the exact state of your health and measures you can take to improve it.


Immunity Talk at The Natural Health Hub - Saturday 19 October

Book your place now to learn more about how you can gear up your family's immunity this winter.

To learn more about immunity and the many intricate ways you can give your body a boost for winter, join naturopathic nutritionist Rhi Hepple and Sue Leach, homeopath and owner of The Hub, for a talk on Saturday 19 October (11am-1pm).

family in wood Rhi and Sue will give you tips and personal advice on beating the bugs. The talk will culminate in stress-relieving breathwork with yoga instructor Claudia Davies to bolster your immunity. Included is a FREE immune-boosting tea, plus a bottle of The Hub’s Herbal Immune Boost Mix (worth £7.50)

To book head to: https://www.thenaturalhealthhub.co.uk/ready-set-winter-19-october/

Find more details about the Immunity Talk event here.


Natural Health Hub logo

The Natural Health Hub is Lymington’s health and well-being centre offering an extensive selection of complementary therapies. Services include acupuncture, homeopathy, counselling, NLP life coaching, reflexology, hypnotherapy, weight loss coaching/mentoring, NIS, polarity therapy and reiki, plus our ever-popular monthly sound baths. 

The Hub specialise in nutritional advice, natural pain relief and women’s hormonal issues, plus stocks supplements, probiotics and all-natural non-toxic products.

Book online at www.TheNaturalHealthHub.co.uk or call 01590 670955.

The Natural Health Hub are tucked behind the High Street in Lymington, down the passageway between Halifax and Dogs Trust